Monday, April 25, 2011

I am an ultimate fan... writes Kevin Nunn on a Facebook page he created about me a year ago:

Gratitude is a strange and wonderful thing in the world of fandom...

Ah yes, there once was a time when geek, nerd and all other derivations (trekkie, fanboy; we've all hear 'em) were nothing more than a sign of contempt, a mocking of our didication to anything that stemmed from the path of status quo authoritarian autocracy.
We who know what the inside of a locker looks like, we who understand the joys of spending recess inside to read a book, we know what we have always known - the world is unkind to the different, those of us who say 'I don't want to play football/be a cheerleader', or 'My kilt/kimono/latex/armour/stormtrooper helmet is just as reasonable a thing to wear as blue jeans' have always felt the bitter sting of mockery.

Is it still as unkind? No, times have changed, not completely, but we do have our enclaves where we walk amongst our own. And yes, every third show on TV these days wouldn't work without it's far fetched sci-fi premise so to a degree fandom does practically run the place these days, BUT we are still JUST a demographic in the eyes of the status quo.

My point? Hmm. I am fanboy, so I'm unused to having one. Hold on while I regroup.

An example of were I'm going.

If you saw a woman in a headscarf walking down the street, we know that yes, there are idots out there who would mock her. But we also know that the majority of right thinking people on the street would also look at the source of the mockery and think 'what an A-hole.'
When we walk down the street in our odd-ball garment of choice and someone mocks us, we feel no such thing. In fact, we're pretty sure everyone else is chuckling along. Even our friends. Even the guy in the yoda costume. We have no defenders. We think we're pretty weird too. In fact, we pride ourselves on it.

Hmm. I don't think we're a persecuted minority, or subject to villainous hate crimes, BUT I do think that in our rush to say to people 'I don't care if you get it, or if it's usefull; I JUST like it, and it makes me happy' we often miss the middle ground. We either declare to the world "I don't care" with so such see through bravado or over the top enthusiasm, we leave even our friends with no choice but to laugh at us; or we justify it so overwhelmingly that one questions whether we are spouting cult propaganda with no real understanding.

OK, not everybody, but you take my point. I hope.

There was a turnabout in history when we went from geek to chic. We went from reading pulp fiction under the covers to being a sought after and courted demographic whose consumer dollars decide the fates of millions in cutthroat media games.
We did. Honest. BUT what we still don't do is fit in. We still don't rate with football stars, cheerleaders and capatains of industry. We still feel ever so slightly left out of every thing else.

Todd gets it I think.

And, he says through his actions. 'So what? I ike what I like. Live with it."

Cool, huh?

We all think we do this, but do we really? do we blaze a trail across facebook with lists as different as abscure sci-fi actors, maple sugar festivals and long forgotton 80's animation? Do we lavish the same love upon representations of bacan as we do upon Star Wars?
There is a difference my friends; there truly is. Honestly, I can probably fill in dialogue from any episode of the Prisoner or original Trek. I like maple syrup. I always felt that I was unashamed; but to be honest, am I out there promoting other things? Nope. Just selfishly enjoying 'em at home. Do I alert my friends to something cool that they have missed? Not usually. It just doesn't cross my mind.

Todd does. 

Good lord does he ever.

Now don't get me wrong, it ain't all gold in them thar hills. In fact, he likes some downright creepy things...BUt. He likes 'em. Deal with it. And unlike a lot of people, he's still just Todd. Not Creepy Todd. Not just Browncoat Todd. He's Todd the many coloured, able to gaze into fandom; to have it gaze back at him. To reflect it all back. 

But when you meet him, he's Todd. not the wierd guy. Not just a Sci-fi guy. Not just a mediavalist. Not just a browncoat. Not just into maple syrup and corsets (seperately or together) Not just defined by any one thing. He's a media rennaisance man.

And whether you know it or not, it's people like him that make you and me, and every other fanboy out there just a bit more accepted by society.

I vote him for the first honorary marshal when we finally organise a 'Fan Pride Parade'!

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